Jamhuri Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Republic Day
Official nameJamhuri Day
Observed by Kenya
SignificanceCelebrates the founding of the Republic of Kenya
CelebrationsTrooping of the Colour, Festivals
Date12 December
Related toIndependence of Kenya

Jamhuri Day (Republic Day) is a national holiday in Kenya, celebrated on 12 December each year.[1] Jamhuri is the Swahili word for "republic" and the holiday officially marks the date when Kenya became an independent country on 12 December 1963, six months after gaining internal self-rule on 1 June 1963 (Madaraka Day) from the United Kingdom. Kenya later became an republic, with the inauguration of Jomo Kenyatta as president taking place on 12 December 1964, exactly one year after Kenya attained independence in 1963. Kenyatta, having previously been sworn in as prime minister, continued as prime minister of newly independent Kenya, before assuming the position of president one year after Independence Day.

Trooping of the Colour[edit]

The Trooping of the Colour of the Kenya Defence Forces takes place every Jamhuri Day. The ceremony begins at 11:30 after the President of Kenya, takes the national salute, and inspects the parade. The band plays a slow march followed with a quick march the lone drummer then breaks away to take his position beside number one guard to play the drummers call, signaling the officers of No.1 Guard to take positions to receive the colour. The escort for the colour then marches off to collect the colour as the massed KDF band plays the chosen Kenyan tune. After the hand over and as the Escort presents arms the first verse of the Kenya national anthem is played, then the escort to the colour marches off in a slow march to the tune of the British grenadier guards. The first tune normally played during the march is always 'By land and sea'.[2][3] The parade concludes by marching to the tune of 'Kenya Daima' as the tri-service parade exits.

Jamhuri Day is occasionally also used by the military to grant infantry battalions their formal Presidential and Regimental Colours.[4] The honoured unit upon being conferred the colours proceeds with the Trooping of the Colour. In such a ceremony the President as Commander-in-Chief is formally dressed in ceremonial Kenya Army red tunic dress and once the flags are consecrated by an Anglican Bishop, Catholic Bishop and Muslim Kadhi[5] the President formally hands the colours to two flagbearers who receive them when down on one knee.

List of units Trooping the Colour[edit]

Year Colour Salute taken by Remarks
2000 Kenya Navy President Daniel arap Moi
2009 Kenya Navy President Mwai Kibaki
2013 President Uhuru Kenyatta Celebrated the golden jubilee of the Republic of Kenya. It was attended by dignitaries such as Paul Kagame, John Mahama and Yoweri Museveni.[6]
2014 9th Kenya Rifles Battalion President Uhuru Kenyatta [7]
2015 15th Kenya Rifles Battalion President Uhuru Kenyatta [8]
2016 Kenya Navy President Uhuru Kenyatta The guest of honor was Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados.[9][10]
2017 Moi Air Base, Kenya Air Force President Uhuru Kenyatta [11]
2018 17th Kenya Rifles Battalion President Uhuru Kenyatta Celebrated the 55th anniversary of the Republic of Kenya. The 17th Kenya Rifles received its colors on the same day and were re-located to their new base in Modika, Garissa County.
2019 Laikipia Air Base, Kenya Air Force President Uhuru Kenyatta Second time since the base's establishment in 1974.[12]
2020 5th Kenya Rifles Battalion President Uhuru Kenyatta [13]
2021 19th Kenya Rifles Battalion President Uhuru Kenyatta The 19th Kenya Rifles received its Presidential and Regimental Colours at Uhuru Gardens[14]
2022 23rd Mechanised Infantry Battalion President William Ruto The 23rd Mechanised Infantry Battalion received its Regimental and Presidential flags at Nyayo Stadium.[15]

National Awards[edit]

During Jamhuri day various Orders, decorations, and medals of Kenya are awarded by the President to Kenyans in recognition of their distinguished service to the country.[16] A National Honours and Awards Committee advises the President as to the eligible recipients who are derived from a list of nominees. Individuals are nominated to the Committee by government ministries, district committees, the Kenya Defence Forces, national police service, religious organisations, non-governmental organisations, individuals and others.[17] Some of the recipients largely members of the military, uniformed services who have exhibited exceptional heroism and athletes who have distinguished themselves are publicly awarded their orders, decorations and medals before the country during national celebrations, whereas the rest are awarded during the State Luncheon or have their names published in the Kenya Gazette.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Facts and Figures Government of Kenya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Accessed 1 June 2011)
  2. ^ "Here is what you need to know about Jamhuri Day's military parade". Nairobinews.nation.co.ke. 12 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Trooping of colour on Jamhuri Day: Just what is it?". Standardmedia.co.uk.
  4. ^ "Uhuru hands Presidential Colour to 19th Battalion, Kenya Rifles". The-star.co.ke. 16 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Moment of Pride as 19 Battalion, The Kenya Rifles Receives Colours". Mod.go.ke. 16 December 2021.
  6. ^ "President Kagame attends 50th Jamhuri Day celebrations in Kenya". Paulkagame.com.
  7. ^ "CS Defence Amb Dr Monica Juma and CDF Gen Robert Kibochi, this morning hosted a delegation from the Egyptian Armed Forces led by the Chief Of Staff Lt Gen Mohamed Farid Hegazy". Mod.go.ke. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  8. ^ "IMG-20211103-WA0075 – Ministry of Defence – Kenya". Mod.go.ke.
  9. ^ "Barbados Prime Minister, the special guest as Kenya celebrates Jamhuri Day – VIDEO". Nairobinews.nation.co.ke. 12 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Ministry of Defence- Kenya". Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Ministry of Defence- Kenya". Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Ministry of Defence- Kenya". Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Uhuru hands Presidential Colour to 19th Battalion, Kenya Rifles-The Star, Kenya". Countydevelopment.co.ke. 12 December 2021.
  15. ^ "23 MIB PRESENTED WITH PRESIDENTIAL AND UNIT COLOURS – Ministry of Defence – Kenya".
  16. ^ Marikio Muchiri (21 August 2018). "8 Most Coveted Awards Uhuru Gave Out and What They Mean". Kenyans.co.ke. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  17. ^ Kenya National Assembly Official Record (Hansard), National Assembly of Kenya, 10 June 2009